Dublin Bus is expecting 420,000 more passenger journeys next year following the introduction of new quality bus corridors last month.
Dublin Bus estimates that it carried an additional 5,000 passenger journeys a week on quality bus corridors (QBCs) introduced last year, and that figure is expected to rise to around 8,000 extra journeys a week in 2008 - an increase overall of 6.5 per cent in passenger numbers.
Dublin Bus has benefited from significant new priority lanes, especially along the quays, Pearse Street and the South Clondalkin Road.
Research carried out by Dublin Bus has revealed that since the introduction of a QBC from Adamstown to the International Financial Services Centre, 31 per cent of users, who have a car, chose to take that bus route instead.
A total of 43 per cent of commuters on the 145 route between Bray and the city centre could have used a car for the same journey.
Dublin Bus has just unveiled 50 new replacement buses which will have a carrying capacity 25 per cent bigger than at present.
It is part of the company's fleet replacement programme under the terms of Transport 21.
They will be introduced on the Blanchardstown QBC and will increase its capacity by 21 per cent.
The triaxle buses were first introduced on Dublin Bus in 2005 and reduce CO2 emissions by 10 per cent on previous models.
There will also be significant decreases in hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. The buses will also be more wheelchair and pushchair friendly.
Dublin Bus spokeswoman Clíodhna Ní Fhátharta said: "It shows that a relatively modest investment in bus priority and fleet investment can result in generating additional customers, thus leading to less car traffic and congestion.
"This is particularly important in the context of improving traffic congestion and reducing environmental emissions."
The Irish Times